concrete for long-lasting household projects

How To Install Proper Footings And Mix Your Concrete Right To Help You Successfully Install A Concrete Wall

by Kyle Carpenter

When you want to install a concrete wall in your yard, mixing and pouring concrete instead of using concrete bricks will create a stronger and longer-lasting wall. To help you in building your concrete wall yourself, here are some tips to help you build the wall's footings and mix the concrete in the right ratios for a proper consistency.

Install Proper Footings

Footings for your concrete wall should be installed within the soil to provide a stable and strong base. For this reason, it is important to determine how deep your footings need to be set into the soil. Depending on the depth of your area's soil frost level (how deep the soil freezes in the winter), your footings should be installed deeper than this level. Burying the footer into soil below the frost level prevents freeze and thaw patterns to shift the footings in the soil.  

The height of your wall can also affect how deep you need to install the footings, as a taller wall can require you to install the footings deeper than a shorter wall to provide more stability for the wall. Check with your local building permit office to find out what the recommended footing installation level is for your area so you can build your wall right the first time. 

Mix the Concrete 

When you are ready to mix your concrete, you can mix it from scratch with cement, sand, grave, and water, or you can buy pre-mixed bagged concrete that just needs water mixed into it. If you choose to mix your own from raw materials, keep in mind to use the right ratios: one part cement to three parts sand and three parts gravel.

Combine the materials together in a cement mixer to mix up the largest batch of concrete at one time. Begin adding water to the mixture slowly, combining it as you go. When your concrete mixture is wet and shiny and holds its form when you scoop it into a pile, it is the right consistency. You don't want the mixture to be soupy with too much water, and you don't want it to be dry and crumbly. Both of these consistencies will not allow the concrete to cure with a high durability that you will need in a concrete wall.

If you are mixing concrete from pre-mixed bagged concrete, add water to the mixture according to the bag's instructions. Keep some extra dry mixture set aside to add to your mixture if you accidentally add too much water, so you don't end up with a watery concrete mixture.

Now you can begin pouring your concrete into its set forms with the right footing foundation depth. Talk to a contractor, like Burns Brothers Concrete Construction Corporation, if you need more help.